National women’s expo a success for Nawaitauvou
The 53 year old who hails from the district of Nacula in the Yasawa’s said she felt empowered having sold all of her products consisting of 40 bottles (260ml) of virgin coconut oil (VCO), 11 bottles (50ml) of VCO infused in ginger, four VCO dishwashing pastes, four VCO washing bar soaps and 20 VCO bathing soaps.
Nawaitauvou says she was grateful for being chosen to participate in the three day National exhibition which had given her a platform to exhibit and show case her products to the rest of Fiji as well as provide new marketing opportunities.
She attributes her success from having participated in a value adding workshop which was facilitated by WWF-Pacific through funding from the Government of Australia and USAID.
The workshops in February was tailored towards up skilling women of Navotua village financially through income generating projects by way of creating various VCO products such as soaps, infused oils, and body lotions.
She says the journey to participate at the National Women’s expo was not an easy one, given that she had to pay $200 to meet her expenses, however the sales from her products has been rewarding.
“My advice is hard work and patience. For example, for the 40 bottles of 260ml VCO I brought, my husband and I had to find and use 150 coconuts and the labour process is quite intensive,” Nawaitauvou said.
Her sales from the Women’s Expo has enabled Nawaitauvou to earn more than $500 and she has her sights set high for next year’s expo.
“I have a few new ideas on how I can better my products. I can see that most of the buyers like to see unique and a wider range of products to pick and choose from.
She added that the success of her ginger infused oils has prompted her to expand and add other infusions into her vco’s.
For Nandini Dayal and Saleshni Naidu who purchased a few of Nawaitauvou’s VCO products, they were not disappointed with their purchases.
“It is nice to see coconut oil products coming back into the market and with Nawaitauvou’s, coming from a unique place such as Navotua, her products being sold here would not only be of great benefit to her but as well as putting Yasawa on the map,” added Nandini Dayal.
Saleshni Naidu, the Director for the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Monitoring Unit said she was pleased to support Nawaitauvou’s micro business.
“It’s all about empowering the women and their families and I am happy to support Nawaitavou’s products, I bought some virgin coconut oil and soap earlier in the week and managed to use them and it was great. These are natural herbal products compared to the soap products we get off the shelf, Saleshni Naidu said.
The total combined sales from the three day expo are pegged at $367,565.35 with the highest individual earner managing to earn $4,680.
“I want to thank WWF-Pacific for the value adding project workshops in which I have upgraded my line of VCO products and knowledge as well so next year, I plan to showcase ten products,” Nawaitauvou added.